In John 19:32-34 we see a very interesting fact about the death of Jesus. Hours after the crucifixion, the soldiers broke the legs of the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus. The Romans would routinely break the legs of crucified prisoners to hasten their deaths, but since Jesus was already dead, they left his legs unbroken. One of them, though, pierced his side with a spear, and out came blood and water. Some think John put this in his book to prove that Jesus was dead, but the John’s gospel had already stated that the soldiers had observed his death. This fact is relayed to us today to display two important things concerning the death of Christ.
The blood of Christ is for redemption, to deal with the sins of the world (John 1:29, Hebrews 9:22) and for the purchasing of the church (Acts 20:28). As the blood of Christ cleanses us, we now walk in newness of life. Christ’s redeeming death accomplished a marvelous redemption for us, giving us the forgiveness and washing away of our sins. We can never praise and thank the Lord enough for the life-imparting aspect of this great gift.
The water represents to us the method of how we obtain the forgiveness of Christ. As we are baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-4), we obtain the forgiveness of sins. Acts 2:38 tells us that baptism is for the remission of sins. Acts 22:16 tells us that it washes our sins away. 1 Peter 3:21 says it saves us. This water is our avenue to the reception of Christ’s gift for us as Christians.
Zechariah prophesied of Christ’s death by writing, “In that day there will be an opened fountain for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.” At the fountain of Christ we can continue to be washed from our sins. As we are cleansed by his blood through baptism, we receive the divine life by participating in the fountain of life. It is through the death of Christ that we find life.